Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Information

UAS Activities at NC State

Unmanned Aerial Systems, also referred to as drones, offer great potential as tools for research and teaching. NC State regulation 10.10.09, Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems establishes a framework for identifying, managing, and mitigating risk when using UAS, in order to ensure compliance with all State and Federal laws and regulations, and in furtherance of NC State’s institutional goals and objectives.

For more information on NC State’s requirements and procedures for operating UAS, as well as some helpful tips, see NC State Requirements & Tips document.

General Rule

No individual shall operate a UAS on, in or over any university premises without permission.


Approvals for UAS Activities:

University UAS Operations

NC State Departments and Units may conduct UAS operations in compliance with NC State regulation 10.10.09, Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, applicable laws, and the requirements below.  All NC State Departments and Units must provide the required notification before conducting UAS operations.  

Commercial Photography or Filming

Individuals or companies desiring to operate UAS on university premises for commercial photography or filming purposes must contact University Communications and obtain approval prior to conducting any flights.

Hobby or Recreational Use

Persons who wish to operate UAS on university premises for hobby or recreational purposes must fly at the designated campus areas, and are encouraged to provide the Office of Insurance and Risk Management with the following information at least three (3) university business day before the proposed date of the use: the name of the UAS pilot, the type of UAS to be flown, the dates and locations where the UAS will be operated, and the names of all individuals who will be participating in the activity.

NC State expects all hobby or recreational pilots to abide by all Federal laws and in particular those set forth by the FAA.

Following these rules will keep you and your UAS safe and will help keep the airspace available to everyone.

Other Uses

Additional uses may be granted by Office of Insurance and Risk Management after consulting with the Office of General Counsel and the Responsible NC State administrator for the location.

Pilot Requirements

Individuals serving as pilots of UAS operating on NC State University premises must meet the following requirements:

  • If an NC State employee, and flying on behalf of a NC State Department or Unit, approval by the Vice Chancellor or Dean having supervisory authority over the Department or Unit to serve as a University UAS Pilot
  • Registration as a University UAS Pilot at UAS Pilot Registration Form
  • Obtained a Remote Pilot Certificate and Fed Airmen Cert number
  • Passed NC UAS knowledge test and obtained NC UAS Operator Permit
  • Have at least five (5) hours of UAS flight experience

Required Notification for All UAS Flights

Because of the potential legal and risk management issues involved in operating UAS, a written summary of the proposed activities must be submitted at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the first intended use or, if thirty days is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable before conducting activity.

Use this web form to file a flight plan: Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Notification Form

This is required regardless of university affiliation. A flight plan must be filed for every flight on campus. In addition to providing notification through the Form, individuals or entities conducting UAS activities must provide advance notification to the responsible NC State administrator for the location where the activities will occur.

Upon submission, you will receive a response acknowledging receipt of your notification. We recommend that you keep this for your records and have it available during your flight with other documents like your FAA certification. We recommend that you keep this for your records and have it available during your flight with other documents like your FAA certification.  If there are any concerns or issues about the proposed UAS activities, you will be contacted by the appropriate NC State University or NC State unit (such as Risk Management, Police, or Office of Research and Innovation, or University Communications, or University Communications) for further discussion.  Otherwise, you will not receive any further communication, and you may carry out the proposed activities as long as they are conducted in compliance with Federal and State laws, and applicable University policies.

The Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology have joint oversight of all operations of UAS for university activities.

UAS Insurance

NC State Departments and Units must obtain UAS insurance for its UAS that would cover the Department or Unit’s proposed activity.  Departments and Units should contact NC State’s Insurance and Risk Management Office in order to obtain this insurance.

Outside groups and individuals are  encouraged to have insurance to cover any damage and/or injury that may occur during UAS operations.  In addition, if using UAS for commercial photography or filming purposes on campus, outside groups and individuals will be required to maintain UAS insurance.

Advisory Group

The UAS Advisory Group consists of representatives from the College of Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University Police, Institute for Transportation Research and Education, University Communications, Division of Academic & Student Affairs and the Director of Insurance and Risk Management. The group’s role is to advise the Vice Chancellors on university UAS activities. The Advisory Group is responsible for reviewing and recommending rules, procedures and standards for UAS operations.

Insurance and Risk site for notification:

UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) Hobby Notification Form

Man holding umanned aerial fixed wing plane in a field with control system in foreground.For questions or help

Shawn Troxler, Office of General Counsel
Email: sctroxle@ncsu.edu

Marc Hoit, Vice Chancellor for IT
Email: mihoit@ncsu.edu

Justine Hollingshead, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor DASA

Email: jrhollin@ncsu.edu

NC State Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Resources